This trip is amazing, and here’s a list of what I’ve learned so far. Just some easy to put my finger on facts.
what I’ve learned
- I am very allergic to wicker furniture.
- A decent bed is not optional.
- A decent chair is not optional either.
- Starting a journey telling Ming, “I will be clear with you and ask for what I need directly,” is brilliant. What a great vow!
- When I’m on a trip more than ever, I need a few friends I can check in with daily or almost-daily. Then I can feel stable and like my life is ok, not shifting hugely in every way possible.
- When I’m on a trip more than ever, I need rest and alone time, and to honor my needs.
- Letting people in, especially by seeing them in person, is a great way to clear my cache of social harm. Trying new things socially is healing. I need to let good people into my life and into my heart, and that helps push out people who have been harmful to me. There’s nothing like in person socializing to help me understand that life is rich, and I don’t need to be hurt by people who are clueless, selfish, manipulative, or just fucking around.
- Travel is mind-expanding and soul-nourishing.
- I can’t go more than a week without eating oatmeal. Hahaha. Oatmeal is so humble but so good.
- I still don’t believe I deserve beautiful things.
- I need to be in non-desert places for wet ideas.
- I’m in love with oak trees.
- Sandhill cranes are the queen of birds. I’m so lucky I got to see then again.
- Ming is amazing at caring for me.
I ordered some fried rice with caviar but asked for the caviar on the side, for Ming. He enjoyed the glowing orange eggs.
Now I’d like to list some great things Ming has done for me, this trip so far.
Ming is amazing
- Driving skillfully.
- Reading me part of a menu that was in tiny print, when we were in a poorly lit restaurant foyer. I complained, “I can’t read this,” and without hesitation, he began reading it to me. I’m crying at how kind he is.
- Noticing I’m crying and asking, “You ok?”
- Eating the other half of many bananas. (I only like to eat half a banana nowadays.)
- Being open to meeting my friends–graciously, generously, curiously.
- Listening to me go off at length, cry, and rage about my anxiety and how I felt it was killing me, one morning.
- Listening to me explain what I’ve learned.
- Not judging me harshly–ever.
- Blowing up an air mattress.
- Finding a place to charge my laptop.
- Giving Bunny to me every night, when I was sleeping on an air mattress on the floor.
- Being patient with me always, despite his own disabilities and needs.
- Learning how I like my tempeh cooked and doing great the second time.
- Making me a lovely salad when I needed a decent dinner.
- Carrying shit, always.
- Managing our materials–getting more paper towels.
- Taking videos of me when I ask, and tons of pictures.
- Laundry washing.
- His willingness to help, always.
- Cuddling me, touching my back, and comforting me in many ways–being very open to suggestion.
Wow, this is not nearly everything. These are a few things off the top of my head.
People meet Ming and find him level-headed, kind, compassionate, quiet. They see only a glimpse of his excellence. They under-estimate him. It requires a fuckton of brilliance and creativity to be this awesome. He’s better than anyone can understand.
the biggest of what I’ve learned
The biggest of what I’ve learned is that I need to fight for my own energy. No one else will understand what I most need, let alone fight for it.
I need vast emotional spaciousness, to hear my own thoughts, lots of time doing my inner life, and to have my own energy swirling around in my own body. Ming’s energy is great. But that’s about it. I need to clear out other people’s energy and live in my own.
Travel means being near thousands of people in their cars on the freeway, seeing important family of Ming and me, reading countless billboards by the roadside, meeting people for the first time who I’ve loved virtually, encountering strangers at rest stops, restaurants, public bathrooms, grocery stores.
Being in other people’s spaces, in airbnbs and hotel rooms. Eating food other people made, and fitting into other people’s designs. Trying to sleep in a bed that makes no sense for my body, and use uneven steps that make no sense for the fat, short-legged, chronic pained disabled person who is me.
I’m a stay at home lady. Being social is huge work. The world tells me to be normal and need easy, regular things. I have to fight, not to see myself as wrong and bad in that context. Call me autistic, crazy, different, or just weird. My needs are valid, and I won’t destroy them for anyone.
I’m a lover, not a fighter. But some things I do have to fight for. People push me, and I have to push back. That’s a huge thing to learn and admit. Being a tumbleweed has never gone well for me.